In our understanding of history we must fast forward to the future. Only by projecting forward and looking backward can we imagine how the history of today will look compared to the history of the past.
History, henceforward, will be different. It will be different because the digital age has allowed us to preserve, with remarkable detail the life of the individual. How would we think differently about the past, if we had the digital footprints of Nietzsche, Rousseau, or Montaigne?
It may be that it becomes impossible to romanticize the personalities of today. The brush is painting with far too much detail. We need to think, now, about the impact of the new digital life-scape on the legacy of our life-work.